Telstra records AU$2.1b profit, grows revenue on data boom

Telstra has recorded a half-year profit of AU$2.1 billion, on the back of increased revenue from customers in fixed and mobile using more and more data.

Telstra has reported a net profit after tax of AU$2.1 billion in the first half of the 2014-15 financial year, on the back of the iPhone 6 launch, and improved revenues on mobile due to increased data usage.

The Australian incumbent telecommunications company today reported a total income in the half of AU$1.3 billion, up 1.6 percent. Net profit after tax increased 21.7 percent to AU$2.1 billion.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation increased 0.5 percent to AU$5.3 billion.

During the half that saw Apple sell 74 million iPhones globally in just a quarter, Telstra reported a slower growth in its number of subscribers, compared to previous results. It added 366,000 retail mobile services in the half, which brought the company's total mobile subscribers to 16.4 million.

"We had our best ever iPhone launch, and we have seen growth in the number of connected tablets and data sharing," CEO David Thodey said in a statement.

This was made up of 81,000 post-paid retail services, 130,000 mobile broadband services, and 124,000 machine-to-machine services. The company did not break down the number of prepaid subscribers.

Mobile revenue grew 9.6 percent in the half to AU$5.3 billion, making it the strongest growth in revenue in six halves. Average revenue per user (ARPU) grew in both post-paid (4.4 percent) and prepaid (13.8 percent), due to customers using more data.

The company now has 6.7 million 4G devices on its network, including 4.9 million handsets, 666,000 tablets, 384,000 dongles, and 624,000 Wi-Fi hotspots. Thodey said that the company's 4G network now covers 90 percent of the Australian population, and would reach out to 94 percent by the middle of 2015.

Fixed-line business revenue dropped 1.7 percent to AU$3.5 billion, mostly due to fixed voice revenue decline. Telstra said this was offset by a 7.8 percent growth in fixed data revenue.

The company's Network Applications and Services business increased revenue by 18.1 percent in the half to AU$1 billion. Thodey said the business would continue to grow with the company's recent acquisitions.

"I am pleased to see the expansion of our international networks through the acquisition of Pacnet, which subject to regulatory and Pacnet financier approval, is expected to be completed in the middle of the year," he said.

"Once completed, this acquisition will increase the scale and capability of our fixed infrastructure, our network density, and our reach across the Asia-Pacific region, as well as our customer base, and our capability."